BOSTON, April 7, 2008 /PRNewswire/ -- Replikins Ltd. has found that the Replikin Count(TM) of the H1N1 strain of influenza virus has recently increased to 7.6 (plus/minus 1.4), its highest level since the 1918 H1N1 pandemic (p value less than 0.001). A rising Replikin Count of a particular influenza strain, indicating rapid replication of the virus, is an early warning which has been followed consistently by an outbreak of the specific strain. The current increase appears to be specific to H1N1; there was a concurrent 80% decline in the Replikin Count of H3N2, for instance.
The current H1N1 appears to be rapidly replicating simultaneously in the U.S. and Austria. It may succeed H5N1 as the leading candidate for the next expected overdue pandemic. However, the same virus replikin structures detected by FluForecast(R) software in all three previous pandemics, namely 1918 H1N1, 1957 H2N2, and 1968 H3N2, as well as in H5N1, have not yet been detected in the currently evolving H1N1.
There is evidence that many factors, including virus structure, host receptivity, and the environment, together with infectivity and rapid replication, need to converge for a pandemic to occur. For H5N1, the high human mortality rate, which peaked at over 80% in 2006-07 in Indonesia, as well as current low infectivity, both appear to limit H5N1's ability to produce a pandemic. Furthermore, the H5N1 rapid replication cycle which began in 1996 now appears to be over. The H5N1 virus produced less than 300 World Health Organization confirmed deaths over the past 10 years.
On the other hand, H1N1, with an estimated human mortality rate of only
2.5 to 10%, but with much higher infectivity, produced an estimated 50
million deaths in the 1918 pandemic. A number of countermeasures exist
today which did not exist in 1918, however. Among these is Replikins'
ability to manufacture synthetic vaccines based on current sequences, with
a 7-day production turnaround.
|SOURCE Replikins Ltd.|
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